An interesting new eco-friendly phenomenon is happening with wine by the glass. Restaurants are starting to serve wine on tap. Wine-by-the-keg has been around for at least a decade in the U.S. and abroad (I actually bottled my own wine from a keg when I lived in France in 1982) and restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York and Detroit are doing it.
With keg wine, wineries save money on production, packaging and shipping costs, by reducing the need for bottles, labels, corks, capsules, cardboard boxes, storage area, etc. These cost savings can be ultimately passed on to the consumer. Ecologically, the carbon footprint of the winery is greatly reduced.
Keg wine provides ecological and cost savings for restaurants too. The reusable five-gallon stainless-steel kegs, the equivalent of 25 bottles of wine, will store wine for over five months without compromising its integrity. Freshness and quality are preserved, typically an issue with wine by the glass.
Restaurants often dump out the remains of most bottles that are less than half full at the end of the night, or any bottle that's been open more than two days. When wine is pumped out from the keg however, it is never exposed to oxygen - the last glass should be as fresh as the first. Kegs are easy to transport and can be refilled again and again. New ones are dropped off, old ones picked up, creating zero waste. There are fewer corks to throw out and no need for recycling bottles and cases.
Bulk wine is not meant to replace high-end bottles or those worth aging, and details are still being worked out, but for wine by the glass, this green concept benefits everybody. More proof that doing the right thing for the environment saves us money.
Information compiled from wineinakeg.com
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